Art Talk: Are Rockwell's Boy Scouts and Grandmas American Masterpieces?

Boy with dog in basket

He painted freckled boy scouts, sprightly grandmothers and little black girls walking into an all-white school. Norman Rockwell was the star illustrator of The Saturday Evening Post for nearly half a century, and served as America's unofficial "artist in chief." 

Deborah Solomon, WNYC's art critic, has a new book about Rockwell called "American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell." Solomon said she considers Rockwell one of the 10 best American painters, right next to Jackson Pollock.

"You can say Pollock represents our desire for freedom and independence and the frontier, while Rockwell represents our desire for safety and security and the promise that we will have someplace to go on Thanksgiving," she said.

To listen to the interview with Solomon, click on the audio link.

And do you agree? Do you consider Rockwell a major American artist? Leave your comment below.


Norman Rockwell. Study for "Freedom of Speech"
Norman Rockwell. Study for "Freedom of Speech"
Norman Rockwell's 'The Problem We All Live With' (1963)
Norman Rockwell's 'The Problem We All Live With' (1963)
Norman Rockwell. Boy Scouts singing, 1917
Norman Rockwell. Boy Scouts singing, 1917 ( Public domain )
Norman Rockwell. Boy and baby carriage
Norman Rockwell. Boy and baby carriage ( Public domain )
Norman Rockwell. Boy's Life cover, August 1915
Norman Rockwell. Boy's Life cover, August 1915 ( Public Domain )
Norman Rockwell. St. Nicholas magazine illustration, 1914
Norman Rockwell. St. Nicholas magazine illustration, 1914
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